Former teaching assistant found guilty of assaulting handicapped student

PITT COUNTY - A former Pitt County teaching assistant has been found guilty of assaulting a handicapped student.

On Thursday, jurors found Cherry Tillery Taylor guilty of three counts of assault on a handicapped person, a court official said. She was acquitted on the fourth count. Cherry was then sentenced to serve 150 days in jail.

Taylor was working as a teaching assistant at Elmhurst Elementary School in Greenville when she was arrested on Nov. 14, 2013.

According to the original arrest warrants, Taylor choked the handicapped student with her hands and arm. Taylor also punched the student in the stomach and kicked the victim on the side, the warrants said.

In addition, the warrants said Taylor took the student's own fist and made him punch himself three to four times on his nose, causing it to bleed.

According to Brock Letchworth of Pitt County Schools, officials were told that Taylor assaulted the student on Nov. 5, 2013. She was suspended with pay the following day.

Taylor had a previous suspension on Dec. 19, 2011 for disciplinary reasons, the school system said. She was reinstated on Jan. 5, 2012.

Taylor had also worked as teaching assistant at J.H. Rose High School from Jan. 29, 2007 to Aug. 20, 2012.

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